November 14, 2018
One of the South Burnett’s most iconic wineries will be holding a clearance sale from Wednesday to Friday this week.
After almost four years on the market, Captain’s Paddock has finally found a new owner.
Former owners Pete Eaton and Maryanne Pidcock are now selling the property’s tables, chairs, kitchenware and fittings before the new owners move in.
Captain’s Paddock was one of the South Burnett’s earliest wineries, and was established by Don and Judy McCallum in 1995.
The McCallums planted the first hectare that year and built the original cellar door, then planted an additional 3.5ha in 1996, focusing on shiraz and chardonnay.
The property was named after the McCallum family’s horse “Captain Jack”, who used to roam around it until he died at the grand old age of 38.
Some of the McCallum family’s sculptures remained at Captain’s Paddock after the couple sold the business to Pete and Maryanne in 2002, including the well-known fire-breathing dragon created by the McCallum’s son Stuart.
Pete and Maryanne expanded the original business and ran Captain’s Paddock as a successful winery, bed and breakfast and cafe until 2014, when Maryanne accepted a position as vice-principal at Sancta Sophia College at the University of Sydney.
Pete had planned to stay on the property tending its vines until it was sold.
But after several potential sales failed to eventuate in the months that followed, he reluctantly abandoned the vineyard and moved to Sydney as well.
Pete is best remembered as the first South Burnett winemaker to experiment with double-pruning, a little-used technique where Shiraz grape vines are pruned in January back to just two buds, removing all foliage and fruit. The vines re-shoot and the new fruit then ripens from March to June.
The technique can only be used every two to three years because of the stress it imposes on the plants, but it produces an extremely late-harvest wine of exceptional quality.
Captain’s Paddock’s “2003 Last Syrah” debuted in late 2005 for $39 a bottle after spending 18 months ageing in French Oak and a further 12 months ageing in the bottle.
This was more than double the average $16 per bottle the winery’s award-winning wines sold for at the time, and created a small sensation which lasted until the last bottles were snapped up six months later.
Another small sensation occurred when “Captain Jack” re-erupted from the field where he had been buried a few years after the couple purchased the property.
Captain Jack had to be reinterred – twice, as it turned out – but hasn’t been known to rise again.
During the 12 years and five months Peter and Maryanne owned Captain’s Paddock, the business traded continuously every day of the week.
Pete estimated the couple catered for roughly 150,000 people during that time.
The sale will be offering assorted cafe crockery, glassware, cooking utensils, tables and chairs, whitegoods, farm equipment and some remote control planes between 9:00am and 4:00pm Wednesday to Friday, and photos of some of the items on sale can be found on Pete’s Facebook page.
Captain’s Paddock is located at 18 Millers Road in Booie.
Maryanne, Pete and their popular wine dog Merlot will all be on-site for the sale.
Pete told southburnett.com.au the couple look forward to seeing their many South Burnett friends after a long absence.
He isn’t sure who the new owners are or their future plans for the property, but thinks they are locals and expects other details will become clearer after settlement.